A full eclipse was to happen over Chile, I thought that I could not miss the opportunity to see it. Where I am in Antofagasta it would only be a partial eclipse, coverage by the moon would only be 82.83%.
Joaquin, his mum (Coty) and I travelled down to Ovalle. This is where Joaquin’s uncle lives, we would be able to stay the night and see the eclipse at 99.56%.
First Joaquin and I took a 3 hour bus ride to Taltal. We drove through the desert, the driest desert in the world! There is nothing but some nice mountains, rocks and a lot of dust/sand to see. As we got closer to Taltal I started to see some plants like cactus as it gets misty therefore there is more moisture.
We spent the afternoon in Taltal, Joaquin spent some of his childhood here so he wanted to show me the town. We walked along the coast seeing the peirs, went to the beach and read about the history of the mining here.
It was then time to catch our 10 hour night bus to Ovalle. It was a comfortable drive. While we were in Ovalle we got to explore the town, go to a market and rest.
The day of the eclipse…we were all armed with our special glasses and after lunch we headed out to find the best spot to watch it from.
We found a lovely valle where we were opposite a vineyard, planes kept flying over watching the eclipse from the sky! Glasses on watching the moon cover the sun slowly, it started at 3:22pm.
You could only look at the sun for a maximum of 3 minutes at a time, even with the glasses on as it can still damage your eyes. Maximum eclipse for us happened at 4:38pm, it got darker and darker and colder and colder but it was amazing how light it still was even though the moon was covering over 99% of the sun.
It was strange after that point that it started to lighten up and get warmer again. The eclipse finished for us at 5:46pm.
In the evening I got invited to watch some traditional Chilean dances. They were practicing for a show. It was interesting to watch, now I would like to learn some of these dances.
Back on a night bus back to Antofagasta. This was only supposed to take us 13 hours but there was so much traffic at La Serena because this is where the eclpise was 100% and a lot of people went there to watch it and were also traveling through the night to get home. We got delayed by about 2 hours.